Weekly Menu Planning May 2023

Such great meals while LLD’s gone, and a great plan for his return tonight! EDIT: and great you got time alone at home!

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Is this the white bean and roasted tomato salad recipe from Diana Henry?

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A now-retired colleague from the Midwest used to bring this salad to department parties. I had no idea what it was called!

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[Content moved to June thread]

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Cooking for 1 at the Jersey Shore and trying to clear out the freezer

Monday: honey mustard pork chop, leftover jasmine rice, leftover sauteed zucchini with Mural of Flavor seasoning
Tuesday: homemade pan pizza with dough and pizza sauce from the freezer
Wednesday: chicken cacciatore from the freezer over cavatappi pasta
Thursday: Wednesday leftovers
Friday: cilantro tequila lime marinated chicken breast (freezer) with cauliflower rice and green salad
Saturday: Friday leftovers

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Gourmet had a recipe maybe two decades ago for a white bean tomato salad that has the dubious distinction of being the first salad I ever enjoyed. They included oil-packed tuna (like Ortiz or Tonnino), and the combination was just fantastic!

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It’s from From the Oven to the Table. Two friends have tried it and also love it. If any of you try it, I recommend roasting the tomatoes for much longer than the 15 minutes she suggests; i went with 35 this time, and they were delightful candy-like tomato bombs. I’ve served it with toast, and with polenta, and both worked well.

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I love a classic bean and tuna salad! Usually without tomatoes though.

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Yes! That’s it, thanks so much!

It was a complete surprise, and completely enjoyed.

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Me too. With onion or shallot. And a sprinkle of parsley.

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Happy Monday, all! I am cooking for three (two adults, and a 10 yo who mostly eats deconstructed versions of our food…or makes herself a PB&J). The weather is beautiful here in SW Ontario with highs in the high 20s/low 30s Celsius (high 70s to mid-80s-ish Fahrenheit) but without the high humidity that we’ll experience as we get into the summer.

On the menu this week:

Monday: Grilled bratwurst with sautéed onions, grilled mixed veggies (asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, red onion), green salad

Tuesday: Balsamic basil grilled chicken thighs. strawberry goat cheese salad (Caro Chambers’ Substack)

Wednesday: Chicken fajitas (Simply Recipes)

Thursday: Sweet and spicy grilled chicken and onions with grilled halloumi and apricots (Caro Chambers…again…)

Friday: My husband’s 45th birthday and we have plans to…drive to the Windsor/Detroit border for our Nexus interview that we’ve been waiting MONTHS for. Will probably eat on the road. I know, so celebratory :wink:

Saturday: Husband cooks

Sunday: I think I’m going to invite my husband’s sisters and their families over for a birthday dinner. No idea what’s on the menu yet. My husband said to keep it simple. We’ve barely entertained since 2020, so it feels harder now than it used it!

I likely won’t post next week, as I’m leaving next Wednesday morning for a girls’ trip to NYC and will be away through the weekend :slight_smile:

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Have a wonderful girls trip!

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I just can’t plan a menu for a week any tips for that? planning for a day is easy but for a week I can’t follow it because of work pressure!

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It is great to have a family like this. Happy for you and have a great trip!

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Enjoy NYC!

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As mentioned in the intro - changes to plan are expected. My plans have so many changes that I choose to post the actual at the end of the week, but I DO have a plan.
I use a simple 3-column “table” document since I’m retired so planning both lunch and dinner. Day/date, Lunch, Dinner.
Some folks here use a whiteboard or chalk board.
In each square write a maindish idea and if so-inclined write a couple of side-dishes you think might work well with it.
I find I only cook “new” maindish 3-4 times weekly, almost always have leftovers that can be combined for other meals. When that happens, just bump down the planned meal for the day you feature a reheat.
For tomorrow’s meal, (or since my fridge is extra-cold 2 days ahead) get out any meat you need to thaw. Check whether you have the ingredients for your side-dish idea.

I keep a running list at the bottom of my document that shows produce I need to remember to use up (saves me having to check the fridge when I add my side-dish ideas).

I also keep a running list of meal ideas – things others mentioned that sounded good, and my personal goal reminders - soup once a week, fish more often, vegetables with every meal.

Over the span of years, I’ve added and now maintain my freezer inventory on the same document. That way when I’m caught short for cooking time on the planned meal I can scan my freezer inventory of prepared/frozen maindishes (commercial or homemade) and pull one of those to reheat. We have frozen pizza a LOT less often now.

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I start my plan with notes on what we have going on during the week - a day in the office (I mostly work from home) or evening activities mean those nights’ dinners have to be quicker or easier. Once I know what I’m working around, I fill in the meals I wanted to make (as @MidwesternerTT commented, sometimes others inspire me!) or take a quick peruse of a cookbook or two to get other ideas. I then plan it out on a dry-erase calendar posted on our fridge, like this one. And then I make the grocery list for the week, and try to just shop once. I loathe the mid-week “whoops” trips but fortunately married someone who doesn’t mind them!

I will say that it took many, many years to get this approach sorted out to something that works for us (two adults who work full-time, and a tween). There is no single right way! Start with what feels manageable for you.

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OMG Thank you for the detailed explanation to plan accordingly! I’ve never used any notes or board so get confused a lot. The document is great I’ll get used to it because it looks perfect for making plans without any issues!

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Yes, thanks for the detailed response, I’m also going to put notes or documents so I won’t F-up everything I’ve in my mind!
As you said I need to practice until I get used to it!

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